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tv   Tavis Smiley  PBS  February 13, 2012 2:00pm-2:30pm PST

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tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight the conversation with personal finance experts and best-selling author suze orman. she has recently announced a prepaid card aimed at people wary of using bank credit cards called the approved card. we are glad you joined us for a conversation with suze orman coming up. >> every community has a martin luther king boulevard. it's the cornerstone we all know. it's not just a street or walmart stands together with better. thank you.
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always pleased to have suze orman on the show. this is the first time you have been on the set as opposed to a satellite feed. the perennial best-selling author is now the host of the new series airs monday at 9:00 on own. >> it was hard for me to go from being the breadwinner to being
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the person who used to make sure the house was clean. >> it is important to understand your wife has been cheating on you financially, but she can save the most precious relationship of her life, and i think what this relationship is going to need is action. you are going to have a serious talk. this talk is about who you want to be to each other. who do you want to be to your five children? who do you want to be in god's eyes. tavis: is your manhood connected to your money in god's eyes? own eyes. in one's i do not care how far we have
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come with the women's liberation, but in a man's eyes, he needs to be the support of his family. they will tell you they do not care if their wife is making more money than them. i do not believe it. we just saw that example. there is something very demeaning when a man has been making money. now he has lost his job. now he cannot find another job, and the only reason the family is going on is because of the wives. i can relate to that because that is my mom and dad. my mom was a secretary. my dad kept failing and sailing, and you can see his manhood ago. i was born in 1951. women did not work back then. she kept it going. his manhood was affected then. >> is these numbers are real, there must be a number of men
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struggling with manhood right now. >> they do not tell you that. they always say it is ok, but if you ask them, if you could make more money than your wife, would you? they usually say yes. >> i would marry oprah in a heartbeat. >> she would want to keep you upside the head. tavis: this leads me to the question of whether or not you believe these unemployment numbers. what do you say about these unemployment numbers? >> i have never believed unemployment numbers, because the way they calculate it makes no sense whatsoever. it is not how many people are unemployed. it is how many people are actively looking for a job.
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once used talk -- once you stop looking for a job, you are not part of that number. it says nothing, to tell you the truth. one thing that is a little uplifting is the creation of jobs, which is a more important number than unemployment. how many jobs are being created that could employ people? in 2010, there were 1 million jobs created. in 2011, there were 1.8 million jobs created. we are averaging 200,000 new jobs a month, so truthfully, when you look at president obama, and you looked at those numbers, he is growing, but we are not growing fast enough. the people in poverty are not feeling it. >> my next question is how it is on the campaign trail.
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you say to the american people things are getting better, if they do not feel it. people are feeling more pinch than ever before. the numbers say one thing. people are feeling something else. how do you sell that? >> you sell that with the fact that people are not affected by the fact there are 100 million people in poverty or near poverty. they are people who have not been affected by what happened. either they did not own a home at the time, they did not have money in the stock market, or they did not see their equity go down, and they have a job, but they are just getting by, and when they feel a little hopeful, they are the ones that are just going out and spending money. to sell it to people in poverty today, it is almost impossible. i have been saying in my opinion, america has a broken spirit, that the people who are saying, please help me, please
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let me keep my home, please let me keep my car. please recognize me as a human being. they are falling on deaf ears, and when you are battered down, your spirit gets broken common -- your spirit get broken, and who is going to pick you up? you do not want to listen to a bunch of people on tv if you do not think they are talking to you. it is hard. tavis: i have not made a public announcement yet, but i will do it now. we were talking a moment ago about whether one's manhood is connected to money. as you know, i was so honored to have you on that stage. >> i was honored to be on that stage with you. there has not been a place i have been where i have not said if you are not listening to what tavis smiley is saying, you are listening -- you are missing the conversation of
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america today. they are the only to having a conversation that needs to be listened to. everybody else is just words. you are the truth. tavis: having you and michael moore, it was a wonderful conversation. we got a chance to rebroadcast on pbs, so i was saying a moment ago, sunday march 18, i am going to new york. i am going to continue this poverty conversation throughout the year. the fastest-growing group of persons falling into poverty are women and children. nobody talks about the fact that women and their babies are becoming poorer faster than anybody else in this country. women and their babies, and the real question is what does it say about a nation that allows women and children, the younger you are, the more likely you are to be in poverty.
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that is the reality, and in the western world, the gap between what men make and women make is wider than anyplace else in the world. on sunday, the 18th of march, i am going to new york university, and i am having another conversation about poverty in america, this one just about one in, children, and poverty, and the -- just women, children, and poverty, and the audience is just going to be women with their babies. it will be a conversation exclusively about women, children, and poverty. >> i am thinking about that. i want to be there. tavis: if you are around, i will hold a seat for you. i want to ask specifically what you are saying to men about
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their struggle and their babies, because if men are catching hell in this patriarchal society, and when men are really catching it. >> here is about women, when it comes to their children, they become these financial war years, like i have never seen before. they will not turn their back on the battlefield. they will get three, four, five jobs if they need to to make sure their baby is ok. that does not mean they are not in poverty, but they will not abandon their children on any level, and what women need to understand is you cannot save a child if you cannot save yourself, and women need to turn their attention from saving their spouse, their mothers, their kid, to putting the financial oxygen mask on their face first period when they are solid, they can pick up a whole
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world, and for women, the conversation has to be, why do not matter? why isn't the only thing that matters is your children or parents, and only when she is 55 years of age, she says, what about me? the conversation is an interesting one to have, but when men are fighters. they will fight to get what it -- women are fighters. they will fight to get what they need. >> for a few consecutive nights in march, we are going to be broadcast this conversation. if you are in new york, come see us. more on our web site in the coming days. back to this conversation. this debit card -- i want you to explain the difference.
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>> of bank makes money why making loans, it costs them nothing to get money from the fencds. they pay you nothing on that. they lend that money out. they make fees. when they have a credit card and you do not pay it in full, they take 19% interest, so a bank has all kinds of ways to make a lot of money. every account at the bank usually comes with a debit card. they are making money with all the activity is they do. a bank should just be giving you a debit card for free. many of them are. there was an uproar because think of america was going to charge you $5 a month. a prepaid card is not connected to a bank where a bank lends
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money and makes all this money. a prepaid card is attached to a bank, but it is just a bank that holds the money. they do not make money off knew the way banks to do. there was an entire industry of these cards. people who bounced checks several times, they go into a credit union, and that day or credit unions says you cannot open -- the bank or credit unions says you cannot open an account because you have bounced checks. there are many people who do not want to open an account. there are 50 billion people like that. these people want to be able to pay their bills online. they want to be able to charge something or put it on a car. they want to be able to order things online, and the only way to do that is with a card they
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prepay, and when they use it, the money is drawn out of it immediately, but it is not attached to a bank that is making loans, charging late fees, and all these things. a prepaid card is a very different instrument created for those who are truly in poverty. orman wantd suze to take the risk of her name behind this card? why do this? >> imagine you wake up tomorrow, and you cannot get a bank account. everything has gone away, and you are living in poverty. you have no money left. how do you transact business? how do you pay your utility bills? what do you do if you cannot open an account somewhere? how do you do that? you cannot.
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just because many of the prepaid cards have exorbitant fees, every time you pay a bill on line, 99 cents. every time you charge something, $1. there are many cards were people are paying $50 a month just to have. i wanted to come into this industry and say that because prepaid cards have been horrible, why can i create a great one so people who have to use prepaid cards can do it for the least cost? i came up with a car that has $3 a month see. region -- fee. why do i need to charge $3 a month? somebody has to pay for the plastic, the $24 -- 24 hour a day telephone people.
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somebody has to pay when you go to the atm and take something out. and this has automatic deposit that is free. somebody has to pay, because it is not free. for $3, you can have four cards. with those, you get free identity theft protection. you get unlimited credit reports, unlimited credit scores, all these services that normally cost people a lot of money. the main thing that comes with this card is and dignity, because you are being treated like a true human being. every time you sweat it, it does not cost you any money. every time you pay a bill, it does not cost you a thing. you get a tax that tells you how much you have left. people are going nuts about this card. tavis: into ways, being excited
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about it, and trying to destroy you, because you are basically giving these cards away. >> many of the credit unions are afraid i am going to take business away from them. i love credit unions. this is not hurting them. this card, if allowed to do everything it is supposed to do, will help people be able to go to a credit union and be able to open and up a credit union account and function the way many people are, but here is the story of this card. for the first time in history, this card will be sharing information with a major credit bureau and trans union. is it going to create a credit report for you? nope. in the hope that over the next 18 to 24 months, trans union
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will look at all of the transactions. it is anonymous. they are aggregated. you have to opt in, and they will make a determination if a ebit card activity, prepaid activity -- is a debit card activity, prepaid activity can generate a credit score. why is that important tavis: you cannot do anything without a credit score. >> today if you pay cash, it does not report to a credit bureau. if it does not report to a credit bureau, it cannot create a credit score, so if we can start to reward people who pay for cash immerses penalizing them, we have changed the system. no credit score system was created 50 years ago.
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a lot of change we took a lot has changed in 50 years. maybe -- a lot has changed in 50 years. it has become the exclusive rather than inclusive. you cannot get a chance to rent an apartment unless they look at your credit score. if you go to get a job, they will look at your credit report, and if you do not have anything on your credit report, you will possibly not get the job. tavis: the system has not changed in 50 years. let me ask you if poor people are being exploited by that system. >> they certainly are. we had somebody who does a thing for soliciting to get direct tv. did you know if you have a bad credit score, they charge you more to have direct tv, and if you do not have a good one at all, they may deny you hamas --
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tonight you? everybody should be able to have everything based on what is true today. the fact that people lost their homes, they lost everything. these were middle-class people now living in poverty. gov they are being penalized for something that was not in the fault of their own in most cases, so i want to see a new system. i believe the credit system is broken, and i think over time, we can create new algorithms where people are rewarded for paying in cash. they are penalized for paying the minimum payment due every month on a credit card debt is charging them in stress. are you kidding me? [captioning made possible by kcet public television]
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tavis: when you hear mitt romney say i am not concerned about the very poor, he says i am not concerned about the very poor, nor am i concerned about the very rich. what i hear is the new for are the former middle class. what did you hear about him saying i am not concerned about the super rich or the very poor? >> i heard him say he is out of touch with america today. i am in touch with america. i have trouble as much as you have. i get more e-mails and calls when it comes to money than probably any single person. i read what these people are saying. how many years have i said, the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and the
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middle class is disappearing, the middle class, many are living in poverty, but when he says there is a safety net for the pork, he does not understand these people are not begging for money. these people are not necessarily on substances. these people are working, but they are making minimum wage, and by the time where three weeks into the month, they are greeted by the time they are three weeks into the month, they are already out of money, and they have to stand in food lines kids, evend their though they are working. the safety nets do not hold them on any level. tavis: how much whiter has this become? i am seeing a lot of white people calling in. they are not just black, brown. to many americans.
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>> it is becoming a real white, and all you have to do instead is drive into the neighborhoods where the soup kitchens are, look who is standing in the line of those soup kitchens. i have been looking common and they are not all african americans. they are white, and they are standing right next to somebody. it has become a lot whiter. tavis: how do you motivate yourself every day to do what you do? i asked that because with all the work you have done, how do you motivate yourself to keep talking about this every day? the money seems so hard to get for the american public, and so many of us are trying to deal with demand.
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how do you motivate yourself to keep teaching these lessons over and over again? >> one has to ask what is the goal in life, and my interpretation is to meet the needs of the people, places, and times around you, and offering those services to god. i believe in god, and i am proud to say i believe in god. i looked around, and there are needs of people have. places have needs. these times have needs, and i have the ability to communicate and help solve those needs, so every morning i wake up. i cannot even ways to say, what life can i save today and, i can save a little bit here and a little bit there, and i hope
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everything i creates people know that. i help people look into the preapproved card. i hope they see the truth themselves, but i am telling you, nothing is greater in life and to see somebody who does not have start to value who they are, and they can change this world, too. >> i am glad your hope is sustained. suze orman, you can see her and read her everywhere. "the money class" on the own network. i am delighted to have you, and thanks for coming to see us. that is our show for tonight. until next time, keep the faith. >> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley at pbs.org. tavis: hi, i'm tavis smiley.
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join me next time for a conversation with the new york times columnist on his acclaimed new book, "the age of austerity." that is next time. we will see you then. >> every community has a martin luther king boulevard. it's the cornerstone we all know. it's not just a street or boulevard, but a place where walmart stands together with your community to make every day better. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. you. thank you.
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